The Mary Ward Loreto Education Project celebrated the fruits of this project called “Service Learning” on Monday, January 7th in Lezhe, in Northern Albania. This is where the project was implemented as a pilot project under the leadership of MWL and in joint partnership with the Rogationist school and the local community. Besides the training of all staff in the pilot school, parents became involved and many of the higher students were trained and became the leaders of the action. Two community initiatives were successfully implemented: “Bullying in schools” and “Remembrance not to forget”. The last one was a project dedicated to the terrible impact which the communist regime had specifically, for this project, on the community of Lezhe. Albanians had suffered for 50 years from the tyrannical rule of this Communist regime. The fruits of this initiative were celebrated on the day with local partners, schools, education authorities, parents as well as community members of Lezha.
The project aimed to actively engage the students in solving real problems in the community through projects undertaken and implemented by them. It also helped to improve their communication skills and other aspects of personal development especially in deepening their ability to reflect and work with others and to become active members of the community. It helped both students, school and the community to work together and not to remain in isolation.
This project revealed that the methodology of Service Learning, initiated by CLAYSS in Argentina, as an excellent way to learn through dialogue, reflection and active service, engaging students to acquire new knowledge not only for their personal benefit but also for the benefit of the whole community. The Local Regional Education authorities welcomed the methodology and expressed their gratitude as well as their readiness to collaborate and promote every initiative that promotes a qualitative learning process.
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Aferdita Gjoni: Project Coordinator Mary Ward Loreto